Stockholm-based corduroy retailer The Cords & Co. has opened a store at Silver Place in Soho. With a passion for corduroy, the company is on a mission to be the ultimate alternative to denim, offering essential pieces for men and women. The new store has been designed by architects, in praise of shadows.
The original brief was very open for the architectural practice, but with a challenging ambition to find the right attitude somewhere in-between street and high-end fashion. 'The brief evolved in our discussions; we discussed projects of reference and made an intense study trip to London and Paris together with The Cords & Co, to have a common base for the design development. The development of the store concepts has been in close collaboration with the Cords & Co. retail team,' says Fredric Benesch, architect at in praise of shadows.
Early on, the architects introduced the strategy to work with the characteristics of specific materials to get material qualities as well as a warm character from the materials themselves. 'As The Cords & Co. has its starting point in corduroy, we started in a palette of materials with strong characteristics, detailing them to new expressions, bringing posh materials like the brass down by exposed MDF edges for the POS and display tables, and heightening plain materials like the MDF with cuts for striped character – The material palette being MDF, brass, mirrors, neon and linen for draperies,' continues Benesch.
One main design feature in store is a wall of profiled MDF creating the 'Corduroy wall', a shelf with a massive display of pants. Integrating the shelf in the wall creates a more impressive and prominent character. A neon table acts as a visual focus of the space and the brass adds warmth to the POS and display tables. A clear strategy was also given to integrate existing features of the store space in the design – for London the brick wall has been painted black and given a prominent display function in the front part of the space. The characteristic window to the garden has beed framed by the MDF wall in the back part of the store.